20: What do you love about YOU this Valentine’s Day?

Sometimes I feel like a broken record talking about the topic of self-love, but maybe the reason I bring it up so much here is because it has been my greatest hurdle living with alopecia.  It’s also timely given that Valentine’s Day is upon us!

A few days ago I enjoyed a free massage, which I won at a social event at my gym.  Normally not one to pay for these types of services, I happily laid myself down on the therapist’s table and, when asked what two parts of my body shouldn’t be touched, my first response was “my head, because I’m bald.”  Not sure why I thought a massage therapist, who works on bodies of all shapes, types and sizes, would have qualms about little ol’ bald me, but that’s immediately what came to mind.  Between you and me I think it’s, because baring my scalp and my disease, continues to be a growing edge.

BUT!  What’s different about this scenario is that a few years ago I probably wouldn’t have even set foot in the massage studio. I’d have given this expensive gift, and one bestowed upon me from the Universe (if you knew the week’s I’d had at work leading up to me winning it you’d understand that winning the massage was truly miraculous and not so random) to a friend and lamented my insecurity over not wanting my disease to be exposed.  Instead, when the therapist did a double-take, I did too!  I caught myself going down Wo Is Me Road, and instead said to my self-loving self, ‘Chris, take the damn wig off and enjoy this!’

So, that’s what I did! And the therapist was educated about alopecia, and my scalp got touched by another human being (besides a doctor) for the first time in over a decade.  Not only had I’d forgotten how nice it was to have my head touched, I’d also forgotten what not caring one iota what I looked like felt like.  Spoiler: I can’t go back!

Which leads me to today’s blog.  While expressing gratitude and caring for those who mean a lot to you on this Valentine’s Day, I ask you to also find what you’re grateful for and love about yourself as an alopecian.  Maybe you’re taking risks and talking about the disease as it affects you with someone who doesn’t know you’re dealing with it.  Or, maybe you’ve just shaved your head and are wearing a wig for the first time, which I know takes a lot of courage.  Or, maybe you’re walkin’ around town with nothing on your noggin’ and rockin’ it!

Wherever you are in your journey to self-acceptance and self-love, embrace it and celebrate it!  I swear that what unites us as alopecians isn’t just that we’ve lost a part of our physical selves, it’s also the strength and inner qualities that losing our hair has given greater life and meaning and discovery to.

Happy Love (Thyself) Day!


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